Patio/Garden Must Have Items

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With Midsummer two weeks ago, I think we can say we’re fully in the summer spirit with warmer, sunnier days in New York City! If you’ve been keeping up with my garden tours on social media, (click here) you know that I’ve been working on my urban garden and preparing it for longer days!

Whether it’s planting new flower containers and herbs or simply enjoying birds chirping, I love spending downtime in my garden. It’s my little zen oasis in the bustling city, and I treasure these small moments. Right now, my favorite plants are lilies and elephant ear plants. What’s growing in yours?

If you’re looking for new ways to spice up your outdoor space, I have a few things for you! Whether you’re already a seasoned gardener/patio lounging expert, or you’re looking for some new ideas, check out my tips below. I’m sure you’ll be able to recognize some items on the next garden tour!


These non-slip tools are essential for the modern-day gardener.

I’m obsessed with this standing planter and wall planters. No need to crouch down to get to your plants!

These solar-powered, weatherproof lights are the best when hosting evening barbecues. They add just the right amount of light and create the perfect ambiance.


After a long day of classes, relaxing on my patio (without pesky mosquitos) can’t get any better :)

My full list of gardening essentials is right here (click here). Check them out, and let me know what you think!

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*These are products I either have in my home or daydream about. Some of these products are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I get a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting Live Learn Lovewell.

How to Make the Most Out of Your New Fitness Plan/Program

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Are you starting a new fitness routine, program, plan, or habit? How can you make sure you stay committed and see results? Check out my tips below to get the most out of your new fitness plan/program!

 

1.     What are you putting into your body? If you want to see and feel change, you have to change not only what activities you’re doing but also what kind of food you’re putting into your body. I’m not here to give you a meal plan, or a new diet, but if I’m starting a new routine, I want to see results. So I usually have to make some changes to my diet. Personally I like to  cut out bread and pasta, and start eating more complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, vegetables and fruits. I completely stay away from processed foods, and I limit the amount of dairy I consume. If you’re interested in changing up your diet and getting a strict meal plan you can speak to a nutritionist. If you want to make some small but effective changes, try cooking most of your meals, and eating whole foods and vegetables (baked salmon, roasted broccoli, and sweet potatoes for example. Or a healthy bowl!)

2.     Create a routine. Check your schedule and put in time to do the work. If its rolling out of bed and doing a 10 min core workout in your pajamas right when you wake up at 7am, then do that! And plan for that. Set up your mat next to your bed before bed, and set your alarm. If you commit to the same time each day you’re more likely to do it!

3.     Find your community and lean on them. We need people to help us stay committed and to talk about what we’re going through. Find your community who has similar goals as you, and chat with them often. How are you feeling after a week of this new program? What are some helpful tips that you’ve learned, that you can share with your friend? What have they learned and can share with you? You’re not suppose to do this life alone, so use your team and your people!

4.     Document your progress. Whether that are photos/selfies before, during and after the program, or keeping a journal to document what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. You can keep a journal to write down your meals and activity and then also pay attention to how you’re feeling. Were you low energy? Did you eat enough that day? Were you feeling amazing? Then write it down and document it! Social media is a great way to hold yourself accountable, and keep documentation of your new program.

5.     Celebrate your successes. Did you finish the first week of your program? Or did you finish the entire program? Now it’s time to celebrate! Don’t be shy. We need to acknowledge our accomplishments and include the people who supported you along the way. Also, CONGRATS! And keep going!

What I Eat in a Day

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One of the most popular questions I get asked is: What do you eat all day? I took sometime to document an entire day from start to finish. Here we go!

Monday: I wake up at 6:30am. I drink a glass of room temperature water, get ready for my day and head out of my apartment in Brooklyn around 7am. I teach a cycling class at 8am, so I have to be at the studio by 7:30am. I don’t eat anything before that class. I don’t like to eat too closely to teaching because I’m generally not that hungry early in the morning, and i’ll get an upset stomach during class if I have a full stomach. At the studio I make myself a hot green tea with a splash of almond milk in it and drink before class begins.

9am After class I order a smoothie from the cafe at the studio. Usually with banana, strawberries, pea protein powder, almond milk, and coconut oil. I also have a cold brew coffee on ice with a little half and half in it.

10:30am I teach two 20 min rides back to back. After these three classes on Monday morning, I’m feeling accomplished and hungry!

11:30am I eat an early lunch! I go to a restaurant down the street and order brown rice with steamed vegetables and tofu with a vegetable patty and avocado on top. All with some tahini sauce and this amazing Korean bbq hot sauce.

By 2pm I’m back home in Brooklyn. I decide to make one of my favorite recipes in the crockpot for dinner. Butternut Squash Coconut Chili. (Click here for recipe!) It’s an incredibly easy dish to put together, especially if you buy the butternut squash cut already. Everything goes into the crockpot and then in 4 hours the meal will be ready!

Around 4pm I’m hungry for a snack. I put together a plate of gouda cheese, cut up gala apple, hummus, rice crackers, and some raw almonds. This is my “cocktail hour” snack. My mom use to make a small cheese and fruit plate around this time when I was growing up, so its kind of engrained in me. It makes me feel like home.

7:30pm dinner is served! Butternut squash coconut chili goes on top of some cooked quinoa, topped with chopped avocado and some coconut flakes. I eat dinner with a large glass of water. This dinner is so comforting, and incredibly aromatic! My entire apartment smells delicious, and this slow cooked meal is easy to digest and leaves me feeling full and happy.

9pm I have some pieces of dark chocolate, make some hot rooibos tea with steamed almond milk, and start winding down to get ready for bed. I’m in bed by 10:30pm, and usually asleep by 11pm.

Holiday Gift Guide!

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First off, Happy Holidays! I hope that you are remembering to breathe this holiday season. :) Sometimes we get swept up in the stress and anxiety of family, complicated dynamics, events, gift giving, decorating, cooking, you name it. Let’s all take a deep breath together, inhale… Exhale… Alright, now go put on your Holiday sweater and enjoy the egg nog and cookies. I’ve got your gift ideas covered!

Check out what I have for you below!


How do you keep your hair clean when you exercise so much?

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The short answer is, I don’t. Its almost never clean. I workout 10-12 times a week, and that would be impossible. But here is what I do, and my thoughts and tricks to help you out. :)

Washing my hair

I wash my hair probably two or three times a week. Its not good to wash your hair every single day because it can dry your hair out. I also use shampoo that is sulfate free, which tends to be less harsh on your hair. Right now my favorite shampoo is Aveeno Renewal. Conditioner, I’ll only use on the ends of my hair, (skip the roots so they won’t get as oily as fast). I alternate between using the matching Aveeno Renewal conditioner as well as a hair mask from Trader Joes. I let the hair mask sit in my hair for about 5 minutes before rinsing it out.

Styling

I style my hair depending on how clean it is. Yep. Now you know my secret. If i’m wearing it down, and straight or with a slight wave its probably clean. I try to enjoy those moments as much as possible because it doesn’t last long. I do however throw it up when I’m exercising to get it off of my sweaty neck. After 3-4 workouts (which is usually just 2 days) I will start to wear my hair up all day, in a bun, or down in a low braid. When it is really dirty, oily and untamed, is when you’ll see it totally slicked back in a tight bun.

One of my favorite products right now to apply right after washing my hair is Sun Bum’s Argan oil. It smells like summertime, and it gives my hair a lightweight shine. Apply it when your hair is still wet after the shower. You only need to apply a tiny bit of it, so this product will last you awhile!

Dry Shampoo

This will be a lifesaver for you. In between shampooing my hair I like to use dry shampoo to “extend” my clean hair. I recently learned a new tip — Use dry shampoo at night before you go to bed. It takes awhile for it to work and soak up the oil, and can often make your hair look a bit white, so its best to use it at night! Favorite dry shampoo at the moment is Detox by Dry Bar. Though I have used many different brands, and feel like most of them do the job just fine.

Everybody’s hair is different. Some thick, other’s thin. Some people will have dry hair, or more oily hair and scalp. Its about finding whats right for you! But now you know my routine, and if that helps even one person to tame their own mane, then i’ve done my job. :)

To purchase any of these products above, and to see my fav beauty products, check out my link to Amazon!

My New Obsession -- Modern Calligraphy and Lettering

I've been an artist my whole life, although I generally don't refer to myself as one. (I'm trying to get comfortable with that term.) Both of my parents are professional artists, my mom an oil and acrylic painter, and my father a professional photographer. I've always loved art, using my hands, being creative, making crafts, etc but have always kept it as a hobby. My favorite medium is watercolor painting. I've been painting my own Holiday cards with watercolor paints for years. I often gift my artwork to friends and family, and even painted my brother and sister-in-laws wedding invitation. All of this just to say, I now have a new interest in a new type of art. Something new to obsess over, and learn, and practice, and enjoy. I've been noticing modern calligraphy and lettering all over the place: restaurant signs, inspirational instagram posts, etc. So what do I do when I become obsessed with something? I learn how to do it myself! (i.e. kombucha, jackfruit recipes, protein energy balls, etc.)

I've watched MANY youtube videos. I first bought a flat head calligraphy marker. Then a paint brush marker. And then realized I should just use my watercolors and brushes, and loved the color options using paints. Lastly, a friend of mine, Sam, teaches a modern calligraphy course here in NYC, with a traditional pen (with nibs) and ink. So I went to her workshop, and further became obsessed. It was very helpful to have an actual professional critique not only my writing, but also my bad posture, (posture has a lot to do with calligraphy!) Who knows where this will go, but there is something about calligraphy and lettering that I find so soothing. It truly is a type of meditation, similar to painting, where you are using a different side of your brain, unable to think about the dumb drama in your day, and simply commit to the brush/pen in your hand, and what is coming out on paper. I like to set up my workspace with a clean desk, a nice candle, and some calming music to help get into that flow state. I don't write this post to brag about my calligraphy, but more as encouragement to try something new. Find something fun, creative, and healthy to obsess about, and practice. Practice it all the time, and watch yourself learn, grow, get better, expand, and love.  

If you're thinking about going to Alaska... GO.

I was lucky enough to travel to Anchorage Alaska this past month. Yes, I went to Alaska in the winter time. I initially had to go for some work, but decided to make a vacation out of it, extend my stay and invited my boyfriend Dave to come with so we could make an adventure out of it! Maybe its because I had pretty low, if no, expectations for what it would be like, I was completely BLOWN AWAY. The beauty is unlike anything I've ever seen. (I've also travelled quite a bit, nationally and internationally -- driven cross country 4 times.) I'm also someone who tends to do warmer vacations to the beach. I'm an island girl, so take me anywhere by a coast and I'm happy. And maybe thats why Alaska really did it for me because you are on a vast beautiful ocean, and then you just shift your gaze upwards and your standing in front of these 10,000 foot mountains, right from sea level. 

I flew into Anchorage and spent a few nights there. Saw a moose on the side of the road the second day I was there and got VERY excited about it. (My very first moose sighting.) Had amazing seafood, salmon, black cod, calamari, etc. The food in general was amazing, homemade doughnuts, reindeer sausage, lots of veggies (to my surprise.) After Anchorage Dave and I headed to Girdwood where Alyeska mountain resort is to get some time on top of a mountain. The snow was epic! We lucked out with 2 feet of fresh powder right when we arrived. The views on top of that mountain, OMG the views! I would snowboard down the mountain, get on the chairlift up to the top, take 20 photos, and then repeat that sequence 10X that day. I have A LOT of photos. Which brings me to this. I'm not going to say anymore, I'm just going to let you enjoy this photo gallery of some of my favorite photos from Alaska. I was there for only 7 days, and all photos are taken on my outdated Iphone. I'll definitely be back. Next time I'm thinking of heading there in the summer. 24 hours of sunlight, I'll take it. If you're thinking about going to Alaska, you should just go.

Live Learn Lovewell X Peloton collaboration

Excited to introduce to you the Emma Lovewell Collection at Peloton! 

This collection is about my personal style giving you bold colors and comfort. The red floral pattern is inspired by and gives homage to my Chinese heritage. In celebration of Chinese New Year, red is worn to bring good luck and good fortune. Florals remind me of my mother, a gardener and flower lover herself. The tank is soft, and distressed with holes to make it feel and look worn in. The grey sweatshirt is incredibly cozy, with hits of quilted detail on the shoulders and a live learn lovewell patch on the front.  The whole outfit worn together with a leather or bomber jacket is exactly what I want to wear every day. 

The most exciting part of creating this line is being able to see my designs come to life! I had a vision for the red floral pattern, and met with many designers to help create it. There was a long process of going through different patterns and designs and finally being able to modify and adjust to get this final design. 

I want people to feel confident, fun, and like their inner light is shining through when they wear these pieces. If I had to describe this collection in three words: Bold, cozy, and fun. 

Check out the full line at the Peloton Boutique online. 

How to Make a Holiday Wreath!

Growing up on Martha's Vineyard, we always had grapes growing on our back porch. These grape vines would grow rapidly in the summer time, latching onto the roof of the porch, and making their way connecting to nearby trees, and even creating a beautiful canopy over the outdoor shower. By late summer and early fall there were dark purple sweet Concord grapes hanging all around the porch. Because my mother is a gardener and has the greenest of thumbs, she taught me how to cut back the grape vines every winter, in order to promote new growth the following spring. So began our tradition of cutting down the grape vines sometime in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we could keep the grape vines healthy and so we could make holiday wreaths! 

This year, living in Brooklyn, we luckily have grape vines in our backyard! So I was excited to keep the tradition going and make my own holiday wreath. 

Things you'll need:

  1. Old, dry grape vines (around 5-10 per wreath)

  2. Sheers or cutters for the vines and greenery.

  3. Green wire for wreaths (you can get at many garden/flower stores, and craft stores).

  4. Fresh greenery including, boxwood, pine, evergreen, holy leaves and berries, etc.

  5. Decorations including ribbons, berries, sparkly things, etc.

  6. Gloves

Let's Get Started! 

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Cut down those vines!

Using your clippers or sheers, make sure to cut long pieces.

1. Cut down long pieces of vines. Around 5-10 per wreath that you are making. Of course these varies depending on the size of the wreath you are making. 

2. Begin to create a circular shape with the vine, simply wrapping the vine around itself. You can use anywhere from 5-10 different vines to shape your wreath. It all depends on how thick you want it to be. The more vines the more sturdy it will be.

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Shape them into circles.

Keep in mind they don't have to be perfect circles, when you put the greenery in, that will fix the shape!

3. Start collecting greenery from... anywhere/everywhere! If you live near the woods, start gathering different types of greenery, from boxwood, evergreen, pine, holly, grasses, whatever you'd like! If you don't live near these kinds of trees you can also go to the grocery store and farmers markets around this time of year and buy bundles of greenery. 

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Get all your supplies ready!

I'm using boxwood greenery and some red berries I found at Trader Joes.

4. Get your green wire ready and start laying the greenery down, all facing the same direction. (This part is very important!) You want to layer the greenery on top of each other, all facing the same way, wrapping the wire around each small bunch that you lay on top of the vines. Trying your best to hide the wire each time you wrap. And don't cut the wire! Not until you are all the way done. Just keep wrapping, and wrapping, and wrapping. 

5. At the end leave enough wire so that you can create a loop to hang the final product. 

6. Here's the fun part. Taking any decorations you make have, from red berries, to sea shells, or holy berries, or gold sparkly things (I found mine at Michael's Crafts). Start tucking these decorations into the wire, and vine wreath frame, using any extra wire you may need to really get them to stay put! You can also layer in different type of greenery at this point. 

7. Trim off any crazy branches or greenery that is sticking too far out. I like a loose kind of look. It makes it feel more homemade, which I like. But if you want a really neat and tidy wreath go ahead and start trimming those rogue branches.   

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Look how pretty!

Hotel Workout in Naturally Magazine

It's here! The Spring issue of Naturally magazine has hit the news stands, and below you can see my fitness story that I wrote, modeled, and produced. Check it out and let me know what you think! 5 easy exercises you can do in your hotel/house/room, wherever!